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  Rebel Dean inspires gays in Florida
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Last EditedSome say...  Feb 13, 2005 10:44pm
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MediaNewspaper - Orlando Sentinel
News DateSunday, February 13, 2005 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description With a rebel now heading the Democratic Party, Florida's gay Democrats vowed Saturday to be puppets of their party no longer and to bring social issues to the front of their party's concerns.

"I don't want to reach across the aisle; I want to win," said Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who is openly gay. "Republicans used our community as a wedge in the [2004] election."

Sheehan was one of about 40 Democrats from across the state to attend the quarterly meeting of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual Caucus of the Florida Democratic Party in Orlando. Agreeing that a lack of organization hurt Democrats in November, they said unity will be vital if they are to overcome roadblocks to gay civil rights.

"We have four more years with [President] George [Bush], and we have a big X on our heads," caucus President Michael Albetta said.

Already, a group with ties to conservative Christians has launched a petition to ban gay marriage in Florida. The group hopes voters in 2006 will amend the state constitution to declare that marriage is a union between "only one man and one woman" and that no other kind of union is equivalent to marriage.
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